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Why do Things Fall Apart?: A Psychological Analysis of Okonkwo's Personality and his Ultimate Demise in Chinua Achebe's Novel Things Fall Apart
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There are very few works not associated with the Western canon to have received as much attention as Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart (Ogbaa 1). However, contrary to the many post-colonial interpretations of this novel, this essay employs a psychoanalytical literary approach to discuss the cause of the protagonist’s eventual demise, based on the premise that human behaviour is driven by an unconscious process. Consequently, this essay argues that following the ego’s inability to repress the infantile demands of the unconscious, the preconscious and the conscious self, ever more compulsive, repetitive and neurotic behaviours are displayed. Furthermore, this essay argues that Okonkwo’s relationship to his mother plays a significant role in explaining the tense relationship with his own father and sons. Subsequently, the protagonist’s self-confidence turns to pride and his masculinity develops into totalitarian rule leading to uncontrollable rage, Okonkwo’s world literally falls apart.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 25 p.
Keyword [en]
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, Psychoanalytic Approach, Freud, Defense Mechanism
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-8552Archive number: HEU:C11:16OAI: diva2:403307
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-03-14 Created: 2011-03-11 Last updated: 2011-03-14Bibliographically approved

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